otherworldly

October 27, 2019

Religion by definition has a mysticism to it. No matter what creed or denomination or belief system, it all has to do with the human and supernatural exchange. There’s something otherworldly about it, as with witchcraft, so the two are necessarily linked in my mind. I think people balk at the idea that a belief system like Christianity has anything to do with mysticism or magic, but in my mind it absolutely does. Witchcraft has historically been viewed as the wrong side of the coin, something sinister and dark, but the two work in tandem, and that’s always intrigued me.

Tamara Jobe
Interview with H/M

repetition celebrates a cut the song has made. likeness severed from the binding self. in a short drawn breath, we are mourning both the intake and expulsion.

I at least, for my part, indeed, for myself.

the foricalmarks the point in the ploughed land where the furrows cross. the surrogate birds collect here and hesitate.

the quick of the present, softened into the conditional, which props up those who the song has emptied. it looks accidental. maybe the listing is accidental.

[…] attacks upon urban oligarchies in the early seventeenth century were common in Kent, particularly in Faversham in the decade after 1610, and Joan Cariden’s verbal assault on Mayor Greenstreet and his jurats may well have been in that tradition. Clearly dissatisfied with the administration of justice, the troublesome woman threatened to petition the lord warden of the Cinque Ports and instructed her son to ‘goe and arest goodman Chillenden’, and her son also said that ‘he could not have noe justice of Mr Maior’. By mid-September 1635 Faversham had a new mayor, but ten years later Robert Greenstreet once again took up office, and within twelve days, intriguingly, Cariden had been thrown into gaol. Soon afterwards she was tried and executed as a witch. […]

Joan Cason, the witch hanged at Faversham in 1586, confessed not only that John Mason ‘had the use hir bodie verie dishonestlie whilest she was wife to hir husband’, but crucially that she had failed to make the bequests stipulated by her lover in his will. Guilt over this omission caused Cason herself to believe that the deceased Mason had sent the rat which paid frequent visits to her house, in order ‘that she shoolde see hys wyll fulfylled & … she dothe thincke that yt as Masons soule’.

Jonathan Barry, Marianne Hester and Gareth Roberts, Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, pp. 268 and 280

ruddock | the winder | otherwhile | and now | we
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the forical
anyone | when spree | chitter | o | thrible
anyone | but | upon | the | rush | mouth | which | bly
still | for | lirry | the flinder | lip | and | hussle
whitter | but | into | thicket of reeds | still | the song skipjack | bring | the song
| whipsticks | melting | if | and now | that stilt

Galatea exemplifies the disembodied glimpse—the stealing glance— a gestural point in the transaction of male desire. as performance of volatile elusiveness, she is constantly already evaporated. a grieving in the weed and the wood.

labial reflection of the lily. guttural reflection of the lily. beautiful tumour of the dirge. the mouth is afraid of inexact retrieval. Galatea’s round eyes grow mildewed in the foam of the poem.

But concerning these images, it is certeine that they are much feared among the people, and much used among cousening witches, as partlie appeereth in this discourse of mine else-where, & as partlie you may see by the contents of this storie following. Not long sithence, a yoong maiden (dwelling at new Romnie heere in Kent) being the daughter of one M. L. Sttippenie (late Jurat of the same towne but dead before the execution hereof) and afterwards the wife of Thomas Eps, who is at this instant Maior oi Romjiie) was visited with sicknesse, whose mother and father in lawe being abused with credulitie concerning witches supernaturall power, repaired to a famous witch called mother Baker, dwelling not far from thence at a place called Stonstreet, who (according to witches cousening custome) asked whether they mistrusted not some bad neighbour, to whom they answered that indeed they doubted a woman neere unto them (and yet the same woman was, of the honester & wiser sort of hir…

Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (London: Elliot Stock, 1584 (reprinted 1886)).

the | mouth | itch | so as not to | bring
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the ood
cluther | now | lilies | the | limb | someoneday | lurry
sit | after | the oare | the saltings
nohow | for | equal | one-eyed | cut song | truly | flee
her | ood | lilies | but | stolt | see | the saltings

little clicks the poem makes. anything can be swollen like this, outside of its quantity, into the sum of the sand. the shepherd puts aside the ox, in favour of the gift which is to die alongside, though only in the dirge, where he sits himself desolate. in the stubble that remains after the cut.

in the word dois the allusion of possession not present in the dirge itself. the poet bestows upon the dead a sense of ownership; that they may keep their own death like a small and tidy house. any action contained in the word is a form of work.

every way, on every side, all, let me tell you.

this dying is a solid thing. though we could not know it.

Mildred Wright is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Wilson is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Mary Read is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Martyn is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Ashby is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
[…]
Anne Ashby allegedly ‘swell’d into a monstrous and vast bigness’ (like false pregnancy) in court, claiming she was possessed by her spirit Rug. This was witnessed by E. G. Gent.
[…] Mary Browne, Anne Wilson, or Mildred Wright (the author is uncertain) is tested with a pin; she neither felt the prick nor did she bleed.
[…] Mary Read of Lenham allegedly has a witch’s mark under her tongue which she shows to many, including E. G. Gent.

E. G. Gent., A Prodigious & Tragic History of the Arraignment, Trial, Confession, and Condemnation of Six Witches at Maidston Kent, (London, 1652) p. 6.

now | even now | grasp | the swell | in | salts
sit | bligh | bud | but | yet still | fatting
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the ersh
as if all went | to rights | o | doers | to die with | gifts
we | jawsy | kiss | lip, a lip | fret
and now | sartin | o’er | the body | welter | shut | love

Eleanor Perry

it’s street religion

October 6, 2019

Voodou isn’t like that. It isn’t concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence. What it’s about is getting things done. You follow me? In out system, there are many gods, spirits. Part of one big family, with all the virtues, all the vices. There’s a ritual tradition of communal manifestation, understand? Voodou says, there’s a God, sure, Gran Met, but He’s big, too big and too far away to worry Himself if your ass is poor, or you can’t get laid. Come on, man, you know how this works, it’s street religion, came out of dirt poor places a million years ago. Voodou’s like the street. Some duster chops out your sister, you don’t go camp on the Yakuza’s doorstep, do you? No way. You go to somebody, though, who can get the thing done. Right?

William Gibson
Count Zero

Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at.

My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also.

When I think about religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who cannot believe: the Confraternity of the Faithless, one might call it, where on an altar, on which no taper burned, a priest, in whose heart peace had no dwelling, might celebrate with unblessed bread and a chalice empty of wine.

Every thing to be true must become a religion. And agnosticism should have its ritual no less than faith. It has sown its martyrs, it should reap its saints, and praise God daily for having hidden Himself from man.

But whether it be faith or agnosticism, it must be nothing external to me. Its symbols must be of my own creating. Only that is spiritual which makes its own form.

If I may not find its secret within myself, I shall never find it: if I have not got it already, it will never come to me.

Oscar Wilde
De Profundis

Submission

September 23, 2018

My whole self offered up.
Raw.
Like a sacrifice on an ancient stone altar.
The oldest and most pure ritual in the world,
of one human soul putting itself completely in the hands of another.
Surrender.
You take me as I am.
As I was.
As I will be.
You have made me yours and I will stop at nothing to bring you peace, happiness, contentment…
anything you ever desire.
This is my purpose.
The answer to all of my whys.
The quiet place that was always…
Home.

Christine Rogers Odell

RITUAL

June 2, 2018

everything you do is a ritual
you hold death on the back of your eyelids,
feel hands where there aren’t

you can be a wild animal
if you want to be
after all this time,
i am scared because i should be

Sophia Tempest Parsons

The Well at Mylor

May 6, 2018

At Mylor
the water of the well

bears the armour of the light,
it hides and escapes

and stays still
under its hood of rock

amid a galore of graves
and green leaves,

spring of fresh water
beside the sea,

a find, a treasure,
a pedigree,

no idyll
but the essential source,

now retired
from its work of sole sustenance,

living among memories
of former fame,

a saint’s hand dipping in
like a taper unquenched,

coins splashing down
for reverence, not luck,

from time to time,
a self-baptism,

secret and quick,
for some

prefer their ritual
out of doors,

water understands this,
and loves the brow

fanned with its body
for reasons the water easily guesses,

for it is the one who blesses,
freely,

freely it runs
its long unceremonious

caress
through my fingers,

and on my lips
tastes ferriferous,

blood-hint at the periphery,
pell-mell mint at the heart.

Penelope Shuttle

No beginning, no end

April 19, 2018

There is no beginning, there is no end,
There is only change.
There is no teacher, there is no student,
There is only remembering.
There is no good, there is no evil,
There is only expression.
There is no union, there is no sharing,
There is only one.
There is no joy, there is no sadness,
There is only love.
There is no greater, there is no lesser,
There is only balance.
There is no stasis, there is no entropy,
There is only motion.
There is no wakefulness, there is no sleep,
There is only being.
There is no limit, there is no chance,
There is only a plan.

Ultimate Journey
Robert A. Monroe

Candle black

April 17, 2018

Candle black
Of witch’s fire,
Hear my words,
Hear my desire.
Witch fire burning,
Healing flame,
Warm my heart,
Remove my pain.

A.V.

The Chase

April 7, 2018

It all began in iron pot
Potion thick and fire hot
All you get is just one shot
Awen

Moment lost and off it goes
darting fast on nimble toes
Give chase and follow to the close
Awen

Bala Lake, he charges in.
Mimic every roll and spin
Reach the paw to catch the fin
Awen

Now to the sky, our quarry flies
How obvious this new disguise
But he’s no match for your sharp eyes
Awen

He falls away, down to the ground
One little grain onto a mound
Hunt and peck until you’ve found
Awen

I ask you please, now, if you will,
for I have not your clever skill
Help me catch with key or quill
Awen

Diana Sanchez